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Linux Audio is Dead

In early 2020, most of the world was concerned with matters of great import, myself included. But three men, Filipe Coelho, David Runge, and Nils Hilbrect had more trivial things on their minds. At this time they came to me, not announcing themselves as a formal alliance, but pretending to be separate, disconnected parties suddenly showing up all at once. Each one had a list of demands for changes that I should make to NSM. I responded politely to each of these demands in turn, inquiring about why they believed them to be necessary, important, or appropriate, and I offered detailed explanations as to how they were not. They refused to participate in a discourse and reiterated their demands. I asked them why, if these trivial matters were so important to them, did they come to me with demands instead of patches to contribute? They became irate and threatened to fork my project. But of course, because they apparently lacked either the skill or the intention to make the changes themselves (as contributions), I didn't take this threat seriously, as creating a fork would require them to actually do something.

A short while later a "new" project was excitedly announced by this three-man team, on the Linux Audio Announce mailing list. This project claimed to be a "community version" of Non Session Manager and was now "Free software, free of ads and spyware." Very bizarre statements for a supposed "fork" of an extant, actively maintained Free Software project like Non. Nowhere in this release announcement was there a justification for the fork. The name they chose, was "new session manager" as opposed to "non session manager", so they could keep the NSM acronym, and at the same time create the deceptive impression of "newness" or "recency", i..e that their version was the natural continuation of the real NSM or supplanted it somehow. In keeping the acronym, they kept the name of "nsmd" (the NSM daemon). This makes it impossible to install both NSM and fake-NSM at the same time, and it makes it difficult and confusing for distribution packagers as well. It also allowed Filipe Coelho to go all around the Internet telling people that he's the authority on NSM and dispensing a lot of false information about NSM with the neat little trick that when he says NSM he means fake-NSM (but his audience doesn't know that). He also took the time to publish many posts attacking me specifically by name, with slanderous remarks.

When I heard about the announcement, I contacted Filipe and asked him to post a retraction and desist with the deceptive naming. For nearly a year I continued to make the same request.

In early 2021, Filipe made a post to the Non mailing list which seemed conciliatory, and intimated that he would indeed submit relevant patches to the real NSM and work to clear up the mess he and his unethical friends created. This, however, turned out to be some kind of stunt and a couple of weeks later a new release of fake-NSM was announced with compatibility breaking changes, and, of course, no retraction, apology, or correction for the slander and deceptive practices.

At this point, knowing that the patches and reconciliation were not forthcoming, I went ahead with a release of Non that I had queued up.

After some beta-testing by other Non users, I attempted to post a release announcement along with project news, as usual, to the Linux Audio Announce mailing list. This post was rejected with a personalized taunting message. At this point I realized just how deep this little conspiracy went. I first assumed that Filipe Coelho was the list moderator, but it later turned out to be David Runge (the most sadistic of the three).

I immediately tried to get the post through to the Linux Audio Developer's mailing list, which I believed to be unmoderated and thought there was some chance of people seeing my announcement. The post did get through, but David Runge immediately followed it up by a post stating that he had banned me for life from the LAD mailing list (naturally), of which I had been a member in good standing for some 20 years.

Very soon there were 12 messages posted to the list on this topic, in support of my position (i.e. against the deceptive and abusive practices of Coelho, Runge, and Hilbrect).

At this point, David Runge posted a message saying that he had put the list on "emergency moderation" (also 'natch).

Then Filipe Coelho posted an uncontestable (because nobody else is allowed to post) defense, in which he continued to insult me while apologizing in half measure. There has yet to be a post to LAA correcting the previous slanderous remarks made in the earlier fake-NSM release announcements.

Clearly the adults have left the Linux Audio Consortium if these three are at the helm, and it truly appears that they are indeed the ultimate authorities at LAC.

This is as clear a case of misconduct, abuse of power, conflict of interest, etc. as there can be.

And to make matters worse, there is no technical reason for any of it, as I specifically designed NSM to be modular and extensible, designing in support for such things as alternative GUis. The whole affair appears to be purely motivated by malice and greed. And it's all able to be swept neatly under the rug because these three individuals control all of the channels of communication in the Linux Audio space (and probably also because few people care about this kind of thing until it happens to them).

I suggest that all developers of software for Linux Audio should go on strike until this gang resigns.



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